Sky Sports pundit believes defensive platform can spur Huddersfield Town to Wembley victory over Nottingham Forest

Sky Sports pundit Don Goodman believes Huddersfield Town's vastly-improved defence can help them upset the odds against Nottingham Forest in the Championship play-off final on Sunday.

Forest are odds-on favourites to secure a place in the Premier League at Wembley on Sunday, despite finishing below the Terriers in the table.

Only six teams conceded fewer goals than Huddersfield in the Championship this season. That represents a vast improvement from the Terriers, who conceded the most goals during the 2020-21 league campaign.

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Goodman feels the remarkable improvement at the back will prove key for Huddersfield, as they aim for to claim their second play-off win in five years.

"It's a tough one to call, I know the bookies have Nottingham Forest as overwhelming favourites and I can understand why. But Huddersfield have had an incredible season, particularly with the recruitment," Goodman told FreeSuperTips.

"They had the worst defence in the whole of the Championship last season and this season they have one of the best - it's given them a platform.

"Huddersfield are an awkward side, they're tactically flexible and difficult to prepare for. They have quality individuals such as Sobra Thomas, who has a wonderful story coming from non-league and lighting up the Championship.

"Lewis O'Brien is a Premier League ready player right here right now, so these are the sorts of players who can make it difficult for Nottingham Forest."

WEMBLEY BOUND: Huddersfield Town will secure a return to the Premier League if they beat Nottingham Forest at Wembley. Picture: Getty Images.

Goodman believes Sunday's fixture is a "50/50 call". The former EFL player feels that Forest have struggled to cope with the pressure at certain points of the season - pointing to their penultimate game of the season against Bournemouth, when they lost 1-0 and missed out on automatic promotion, and the second half of their second leg play-off semi-final against Sheffield United, when they let a two-goal lead slip.

"The bookies might have Nottingham Forest are favourites, but I can see reasons why it's more of a 50/50 call. If both teams play at the best they possibly can, then I think Nottingham Forest will win and that's why the tactics of Carlos Corberan will be important," continued Goodman.

"But what a job he and Steve Cooper have done, he's done an outstanding job to even get them into the playoffs. When he went in there it was about survival, so to get the playoffs is an incredible achievement for Steve Cooper.

"I do look at how they handled some of their last four games, the second half against Bournemouth; clearly the pressure affected the players. The second leg against Sheffield United, the pressure clearly affected the players and that's my one big concern when you play a team that can be very awkward.

HEAD COACH: Huddersfield Town's Carlos Corberan. Picture: Getty Images.

"How can these Forest players cope with the emotions and the stresses of a game they are favourites to win? I've seen some of the three best performances from Huddersfield live which were: the away win at Fulham, the draw at West Brom where they absolutely battered them and the away win at Middlesbrough.

"Those were outstanding, clinical performances and if they can get anywhere near those levels then they'll cause a lot of problems. For me it's a 50/50 and I wouldn't want to say one way or the other because I believe it could go either way."